Officials in education, government and the community helped cut the Chamber of Commerce ribbon for the latest classroom addition at the Bullitt County Area Technology Center.
An HVAC classroom lab sponsored by Harshaw Trane and Prudential Heating & Air has opened for students to learn the mechanics of heating and cooling.
Current students Austen Hiner and Trey Blevins acknowledged appreciation for the opportunity to learn about their future careers.
“I want to say thank you to Harshaw Trane and Prudential for investing in the lab,” Austen said. “This is giving me a pathway to follow so I can fulfill my goal of making this my career.”
Trey agreed adding, “By taking classes, I am learning a lot of things that weren’t possible unless I was on a job. Now, I will be properly trained before I ever set foot on a job site.”
ATC Principal Angela Binkley said one of her first goals when she accepted the position two years ago was bringing HVAC back.
“This is an important career field that students should have an opportunity to choose so I reached out to Rudy Hawkins,” she said. “He asked me, ‘What do you need?’”
Many meetings and a couple of major investors later, what was once the culinary classroom now boasts high technology heating and air conditioning equipment along with a brand new instructor in Christopher Sageser.
He has over 20 years experience in HVAC work and will now guide students through both bookwork and hands-on learning.
“This is quite an opportunity for students and I hope they take advantage of it,” he said.
Matthew Hallinan of Harshaw Trane could not agree more. A graduate of Bullitt County Public Schools, he urged interested students to invest their time in heating and air conditioning.
“I sure wish this was available when I was their age because I sure would have signed up for classes,” he said, “The lab is almost like working on a job site.”
Harshaw Trane Vice President Lou Zaccone said the company was glad to make an investment where it can make a substantial economic impact over time.
“Students who train now can make a good living in this field and we are proud to be part of the program at the area technology center,” he said.
Alex Kramer of Prudential Heating/Air looked around at the equipment while making his comments.
“I can only imagine how many students will come through this lab and leave work-ready,” he said.
Bullitt County Public School Superintendent Keith Davis gratefully acknowledged the lab business sponsors and feted Binkley for her leadership.
“The technical center has experienced an amazing turnaround thanks to her guidance and this is one more success story being written,” Davis said.
District Director of College and Career/Innovative Programs Willie Foster likened that Binkley has accomplished is nothing less than a renaissance.
“It’s definitely a new era for the area technology center,” he said.
Former educators and current officeholders praised the HVAC lab opening.
State Rep. Linda Belcher said the lab allows students to continue learning long after they finish classes.
“This is training that will benefit people for a lifetime of productivity to society,” she said.
Bullitt County Judge/Executive Melanie J. Roberts applauded business generosity that empowers student opportunity. “In order for the future to be a success, we have to provide the needed resources to students today,” she said.